Elderly veteran escapes UK nursing home to celebrate D-Day anniversary

He donned all of his medals and slipped right out of their surveillance.

The day that the Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France was a turning point in WWII.

Today, we know it as D-Day.

And it wasn’t long thereafter that the Nazis were defeated.

Thousands of soldiers died that day, but for those who survived, the memories of the day and their fallen comrades will likely never leave them.

So, on the anniversary of D-Day, many troops choose to make a pilgrimage back to Normandy to pay their respects to those who didn’t make it home.

One such veteran was Bernard Jordan.

The only thing was, he didn’t tell anyone that he was going. And what’s more, Jordan lived in an elderly care facility.

In case you didn’t know, the residents of these types of facilities are not exactly allowed to just come and go any time they’d like.

However, that wasn’t a concern for Jordan.

He was set on making the long journey from England to France.

Bernard Jordan dressed for the occasion.

Clad in his war medals, hidden by a rain jacket, Jordan slipped away from the facility, hopped on a train that took him to the coast, and met up with a few other WWII veterans.

From there, the group took a ferry across the English Channel to Normandy.

Of course, once the staff at the nursing home discovered Jordan was gone, they called the police and had them search for him.

When the police finally caught up with Jordan, he had made it to Normandy and was ready to go back home.

News of his daring escape made the rounds and in just a few short days, it seemed as though everyone in the area had heard about it.

A birthday like no other.

Jordan’s birthday came a couple of days after his return and he received over 2,500 birthday cards from well-wishers who had heard about his story.

Unfortunately, Jordan died a year later.

But his memory and the heartwarming story still live on.

Amanda Scott, who was the managing director of Gracewell Healthcare–the company that owns the home that Jordan lived in–had this to say in an interview with the Guardian:

“Bernie caught the world’s imagination last year when he made his ‘surprise’ trip to France and brought a huge amount of joy to a lot of people. He will be much missed by everyone here, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife.

Bernie was always insistent that what he did during the war was nothing unusual, and only what many thousands of others did for their country. That may well be true, but the little bit of excitement he gave everyone last June was typical of his no-nonsense attitude to life and is how he will be remembered by thousands of people.”

Forever remembered.

Jordan’s life, as well as his efforts and sacrifices during the war, will never be forgotten.

See Jordan’s heartwarming and very entertaining escape in the video below!

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